When many people think of the multitude of cultures that inhabit their cities, it’s usually based around food: “Yeah, we’re diverse. There’s a great Indian restaurant two blocks from my house.” And that’s a start, but we too-often ignore the massive amount of art that shows how the USA is truly one big cultural and creative mosaic.
America, in a sense, belongs to the world, and the world has contributed much of its best to America. Everywhere in this country you can find art that showcases the value of our diversity. And you don’t have to detour into a museum to see it, either. Here are some choice global creators whom every traveler should seek out and enjoy on public display.
Icy and Sot (Brooklyn)
Known only by their handles, two brothers from Iran now reside in NYC, where they turn stencil art into wonderful encapsulations of human emotion. The heads of the people they depict burst forth with personal, yet globally relatable feelings about issues that affect us all. They’re often politically charged as well, which forces their viewers to put aside whatever mindset that they hold, if only for an instant, and recognize that the people that we share the earth with are all fighting their own battles and striving for their own victories. One of their most striking such statements is the children enjoying rainbow-colored precipitation on Williamsburg’s S. 6th Street at Wythe Ave in the literal shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge. (Although if you can’t make it there, enjoy Google Maps amusingly blurring some of the art’s many faces.)